Selective memories

By Tom Segev

In 1958, the play “The Diary of Anne Frank” was performed in Linz, Austria. A bunch of neo-Nazi thugs burst into the hall and began shouting: “It’s all a hoax, Anne Frank never existed!” The incident motivated Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal, later to become known as “the Nazi hunter,” to track down the policeman who arrested Anne Frank and her family in Amsterdam. He wanted to prove once and for all that Anne Frank and her diary were not an invention. No story symbolizes the Holocaust as powerfully as that of Anne Frank, but its symbolic power stems above all from its credibility; Wiesenthal succeeded in finding the policeman.